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Demas

The apostle Paul had many companions and associates during the time of his ministry (see Paul's Ministry), many of whom had become Christians because of Paul's extensive preaching (see also Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey). Among them was Demas, a man who Paul held in high regard, not only because he was a Christian, but because Demas courageously remained with Paul during a very difficult and dangerous time when Paul was imprisoned in Rome. Unfortunately, and amazingly, considering what they had survived together up to that time, Demas turned out to be a shallow-rooted sort of Christian (see the Fact Finder question below). As Paul later stated, "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world" (see below). It wasn't of course just Paul that Demas had forsaken because of his "friendship with the world." Demas did something far more serious, thereby putting himself in vastly more danger than from anything that the Romans could have done to him, for "know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world [see Who Still Rules The World Today?] is the enemy of God" (James 4:4 KJV).

"My fellowworkers unto the Kingdom of God"

For a time, Demas was among the steadfast believers with Paul, which included some of the "big names" of Christianity, Marcus (i.e. Mark) and Luke, who wrote two of the Gospel books of the New Testament. Demas is mentioned specifically with Luke.

Fellowworkers

"Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him; And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea and them in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. And when this epistle [see Epistles] is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea" (Colossians 4:10-16 KJV)

Later however, Paul was left nearly alone. Not all were deserters; some had grown into apostles and evangelists in their own right and had left to do what God had given them to do. But in the end, on top of knowing that his martyrdom was at hand (see Martyrs to understand how "witness" became "martyr"), Paul reported "only Luke is with me" (hence also why Luke was uniquely qualified to be the author of the book of Acts). Historians differ on how Paul was martyred. Some say that he was beheaded in prison, while others say that he was ripped to shreds by wild animals in the arena before a cheering crowd of Roman "sports fans," but either way, Paul remained strong and true right to the end. Paul was a winner, as are all who finish the race, regardless of the order in which they cross the line.

"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge [see When Will You Be Judged?] the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."

"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing [see "To Meet The Lord In The Air"]."

"Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me." (2 Timothy 4:1-11 KJV)

Fact Finder: How and why is it that adversity can be a good thing?
See No Pain, No Gain


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